Trees and Crops for the Future supports the development of new, fast-growing trees with economically valuable properties. These trees encounter several challenges when they are to be used in practice. They have to survive, establish quickly and be managed to fully exploit their potential. In addition, forests must be managed sustainably, with respect to soil, biodiversity and social aspects.
These issues are dealt with in Theme 3 “Sustainable and adaptive forest management”. TC4F has enabled a focus in several key areas of forest management: continuous cover forestry, fast growing deciduous trees, regeneration, adaptation to climate change and modelling of genetically improved material. SLU has a strong expertise in all of these areas, but the research has previously suffered from a lack of funding.
Strengthen research skills
Theme 3 has engaged several young researchers, who within TC4F use their research to achieve docent degrees. This means that the long-term research expertise in these areas will be secured, at the same time as new results and insights emerge. Two researchers in regeneration, one in continuous cover forestry and one in hardwood forestry are part of this programme.
The theme is also funding four graduate students; one in the field of natural regeneration, one in somatic embryogenesis, one in silviculture in a changed climate, and one who develops models for forests established with genetically improved material.
Closely linked to Future Forests…
There are strong links between TC4F and Future Forests. Many of the scientists are involved in both configurations, but TC4F also performs research that is not found in Future Forests. This research includes, for example, regeneration research, where SLU has a strong tradition.
The research on continuous cover forestry is an area that is part of Future Forests. The studies in TC4F will be complementary and include several field trial establishment and analyses.
…and other programs
The research on deciduous trees is closely linked to other programs such as Bio4E, Berzelii Centre for Biotechnology and Enerwoods. The topic is complemented within Theme 3 with research on poplar planted on forest land, and genetic differences in tolerance to browsing.
Strengthening field trials
The long-term field trial programme is one of the core resources in forest management research. TC4F has, within Theme 3, enabled establishment of several valuable field trials with hybrid aspen and poplar, with continuous cover forestry, and with natural regeneration in harsh climate. Moreover, TC4F have ensured measurements, maintenance and analysis of several existing trials, including trials on regeneration intensity, differences between pine and spruce, and management of heterogeneous forest.